Japan’s Nikkei share average initially rose but then turned lower on Monday as investors sold stocks to lock in profits following a directionless trade after a U.S. holiday-shortened session over the weekend.
By midday, the Nikkei index was down 0.43% at 33,479.71 after opening higher and rising as much as 0.6%. The broader Topix had fallen 0.39% to 2,381.63.
“The market opened higher but reversed course because investors tried to book their profits,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities. He added, “The market showed no clear direction as trading seemed to be thin after the U.S. holiday and also there were almost no market moving cues. But weak U.S. futures in the current session weighed on sentiment.”
U.S. stocks ended little changed in holiday-shortened trading on Friday, with low volume and conviction, as investors watched the start of the seasonal shopping season for signs of consumer resilience.
SoftBank Group fell 1.94% and dragged the Nikkei the most. Meanwhile, ceramics maker Kyocera fell 1.79%. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries slipped 5.09% to become the worst performer in terms of percentage on the Nikkei.
Taisho Pharmaceutical was untraded with a glut of buy orders as the drug maker announced a management buyout at 8,620 yen per share, which would take the company private. The stock was quoted at its daily upper price limit of 6,546 yen by the midday break.
On the other hand, television maker Sharp rose 2.85% to become the top percentage performer on the Nikkei. Shippers rose 1.36% to become the top performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)
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